In the race of life, we look unto different things and people for encouragement. In time of crisis, we look unto our politicians for good governance; we look unto church leaders for prayers, spiritual direction, and prophetic oversight; we look unto medical professionals for healing. It is also possible to look unto our idols, any creature, the works of our hands, our own righteousness and doings, our wounds, our tears, our fears and humiliations, our own hearts and frames. The truth is that, we are made powerless and weak by sin, hence our arms of flesh are failing (2 Chr 32:8, Ps 44:6; 146:3). It is incumbent for all the members of the visible church to look unto Jesus because there are circumstances that can make us have our eyes turned off Him, and on creatures.

This prayer call invites us to look unto Jesus ‘by a direct act of faith, for righteousness, for pardon, for all supplies of grace, and for glory and eternal happiness.’ Jesus is to be looked unto as the ONLY ‘Son of God, whose glory is the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth; as the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world.’ The world is at a critical time of darkness and pandemic, and under such circumstances, we are to look unto Jesus for light, direction and wisdom, for strength, and for healing. The COVID-19, an international crisis of frightening proportions that threatens our mission bonds invites us to raise our eyes beyond human limited horizons, capacity and capability. Nigerian Methodist Chaplaincy, United Kingdom, as a renewal network within the Methodist Church in Britain has always been about prayerfully bringing and renewing our hope in Jesus Christ. In these unprecedented times, we are calling upon all faithful and people of goodwill to join us in 3 days prayer and fasting to curb the spread of the pandemic and to pray for medical professionals, researchers, caregivers,and others essential workers. We also pray for grieving families who have lost their loved ones. The focus and simple question for this call to prayer is: What are we looking at in this pandemic? Looking unto Jesus in the race of life and most especially when the worlds we inhabit and evangelise are shrinking, on social distancing, quarantine or on self isolation, we can ‘trust in a God who goes before us in our mission to make Jesus known and bring life to the full, no matter the circumstances.’

‘Looking unto Jesus’is about Jesus as our example of joy, peace, healing, and endurance in this time of crisis. This calls us to be persistent as in a lifetime marathon. Only Jesus has crossed the finish line of a lifetime crisis. He now rules in the place of ultimate authority at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb 8:1). Beloved, there is a finish line to COVID-19 pandemic, hence as a runner concentrate only on the finish, let us prayerfully look steadily to Jesus, our example of endurance. Jesus has done everything necessary to ensure that we too may cross the COVID-19 pandemic finish line.

To cross over the COVID-19 pandemic, this prayer call invites us to look at Jesus in his life on earth, especially in his suffering. Let us pray for grace and strength for the sick, those on self-isolation, the medical and other essential workers, and researchers to overcome the darkness of the sky of our pandemic.  Let us pray for more pro-active decisions that will benefit the global community.

This prayer call invites us to look at Jesus on His cross, ‘hanging in mid-heaven, dying and bleeding. Today, under the yoke of COVID-19, the world is dying and bleeding to death. Looking unto Jesus begets faith. The world is hanging in sorrow and fear, let us pray and ask God to increase our faith. Let us pray that God will slow the spread of the virus. Let us pray in the name of Jesus that those who are ill will be healed and pray that God will bless the work of the people and organisations who are working on a treatment. Please pray especially for the medical workers around the world who are risking their own health to treat the most vulnerable. Pray that they will stay healthy and that their work will be fruitful.

‘Looking unto Jesus’ points us to look at Jesus in his resurrection and how the stone was rolled away. Let us pray that COVID-19 pandemic stone will be rolled away in Jesus’ name. We shall arise out of this pandemic tomb with testimonies, healing of homes and marriages, and revival of family prayer altar in Jesus’name.

As we arise out of this pandemic tomb, we are called to look at Jesus in his Second Coming. COVID-19 pandemic suggests an altar call in history and a pointer to get our hearts right and our faith in God because nothing is permanent in this world. Ps 34 says, “They looked at him and were lightened…” (v 5). Let us pray for a broad look of Jesus in the global community that would make the mist of darkness and spiritual ignorance to flee far away from us. When Jesus turned and looked upon Peter, he remembered himself “and wept bitterly” (Lk 22:61, Zech 12:10). Let us pray that our nations and churches would remember ourselves and our broad look of Jesus would heal our hardness of hearts. One look of Jesus cures a sad apostasy and defection of Peter from God. One look of Jesus is able to cure our pandemic (Is 17:7).